Originally Posted by Mocs123
Dan, thanks for your help and insight. I know the part of the sectional that is perpendicular to the screen would have less than optimal viewing angles, but we have it already and it wouldn't be used much. Mostly it would be just my wife and I, or my wife and the two kids (which could all fit on the section parallel to the screen), but I know my wife will want the availability for more people particularity when the kids have a bunch of friends over. Never the less, I'll look at other seating options. I also attached an alternate configuration, with the projector screen on the long wall, which may not be acoustically optimal, but would make for better viewing angles for big groups (lots of kids - could pile on floor), and I imagine might work best with a smaller sound system (maybe 5.1.2 instead of 7.1.4), which which would up the per speaker budget somewhat.
I'm not sure if I can fit the rack outside of the room or not - one side is "unfinished" space but it is set up as a gym with flooring, and workout equipment, the other is just storage, but the area right outside the room is a "hallway" going to another unfinished storage room. Under the stairs might be an option. I'll see what I can figure out.
I was originally going to go with an acoustically transparent screen, but in my research it seemed that they were detrimental to video quality, do you think that is worth the trade-off rather than mounting the center just below screen?
I knew the hard surface flooring was a bad idea. Any reason I can't go with commercial carpet tiles directly over the concrete floor?
I'm not sure what my wife would think about a false wall, but I will run it by her. In our old theater, I had bookshelf speakers on stands (Dynaudio Audience 52's) for fronts and surrounds and still have a pair in the living room. One of the reason's the Polks were appealing is I could get the whole set for $710 - well under retail price. If I have to go in-walls, what if I went with something like this: Klipsch R-5502 W II's for the fronts and center, and Klipsch 5650 for the surrounds, and some sort of inexpensive ceiling speakers (Polks again?) for the atmos speakers? I think I could get the setup for $950.
Thanks for pointing out that that Onkyo doesn't have the right processing. I did find the Denon 4400H for $750 from an authorized dealer. If it helps, I do have a 7 channel amp I could use (an Anthem PVA-7 that's been in storage for six years).
I'm trying to do this buildout as inexpensively as possible (shooting for $11K total). Any more than that and my wife will veto the HT room and insist on a pool!
**By the way - It's amazing to me how much more discretionary money I had before kids! Now I have champagne taste and a beer budget!
Thanks for your help!
Pictures and descriptions of the proposed room and the spaces surrounding it would be very helpful.
Do you mind me asking where you found the 4400H for that price? Another person I know is looking for one. PM me if need be.
Personally, I would veto the the second layout schematic immediately. That pushes the seating right up against the wall, which is very detrimental to any kind of quality audio presentation. I would rather you go with the first layout with the screen wall on the short end, even if it means some of your guests will have less than optimal sound or visuals. That's why tiered seating is best.
The Emotiva or even the Ascend speakers I mentioned would, in my humble opinion, be much better sounding than the Polk or Klipsch that you talked about. Yes, the Emotiva's are more like Darth Vader speakers, but the sound is much more natural given their planar ribbon tweeters, and they get excellent reviews. They put out a lot of sound for the money and at close out, the deal is even sweeter. Using your older amp would really make them sing. Besides, putting them behind a lightly built false wall would hide the T1's from your wife's disapproving gaze. Klipsch tends to be nails on a chalkboard once you crank the volume and they aren't actually using compression tweeters. The build quality of Polk speakers nowadays leaves something to be desired.
The minimal dip in screen brightness and "crispness" is peanuts in comparison to the overall goal of attaining matched sound and picture like a professional cinema or dubbing studio. There is just no comparison once you get the audio aligned with the image. It's like... magic!
Even after all this, if your wife vetos the AT screen wall (pssst... it's worth it and not expensive to build and Screen Ticket AT material is only about $50 or so more)... the Emotiva C2 center speaker, while big for a compromised horizontal center (you want vertical speakers if you can help it - hence the AT screen), is an excellent match for the T1's and has very clear dialog reproduction. But their stock will give out pretty soon. Emotiva's deal is causing a resurgence in interest here and elsewhere - even with the less than fashionable cabinets.
For Dolby Atmos, you do want 7.1.4 (or greater - though that does increase costs) over and above 5.1.2 processing. The whole point is getting objects moving in various spots throughout the room for the best 3D sound.